It’s not to say I won’t be camping out on Black Friday this year. Oh yes, anticipation will be at great levels on Thursday night, leading into Friday morning, but it won’t be in the name of a Hoshitoshi, a Kindle, or any other gadget that’s going to be on sale. Besides, the Hoshitoshi I have works just fine, I like reading books the old-fashioned way and not through some lil' piece of computer or whatever a Kindle is, and all my other electronics around the house work just fine. The reason I’ll be awaiting Black Friday is because it also marks none other than The Iron Bowl. For Auburn and Alabama, it couldn’t be any more strange and ironic.
Auburn came into the season ranked in the mid-20s, but now they’re sitting at #2 in the BCS. Alabama came into the season with thoughts of repeating as National Champions on the brain, but they’ve already dropped two games, and they’re ranked #11, which pretty much ensures they have no chance in hell of defending their title this year. Sure, there’s still a shot for Auburn to get there, and if they win The Iron Bowl this year, they can get closer to making the title game, but Alabama won’t make it easy for them.
This game has plenty of stories for college football fans to be crazy about. For all we know, we could very well be seeing some of the more maligned, well-known, yet well-traveled names in this year’s Iron Bowl for the last time, regular season-wise. There’s Julio Jones, a player having a tremendous junior season, yet a player who has seen his fair share of critics since being bally-hooed as the best WR in his high school class from three years ago, who certainly fits the description of The Maligned.
Mark Ingram, last year’s Heisman and someone who can probably bounce to the NFL Draft next year, is The Well-Known. There’s Cam Newton, of Blinn College and Region 14 fame, who can be seen as The Well-Traveled. Lines have been drawn in the sand, people who are usually cool with each other won’t eat with each other before the game, and everyone’s going to rock their colors before, during, and after this one. It’s exactly how a rivalry is supposed to be.
It may take the Ghosts of Bo Jackson, Cadillac Williams, Karlos Dansby, and Willie Anderson to invade Tuscaloosa and give the Tigers the edge in a game that quite a bit of folks are picking them to lose. It’s amazing how a team who’s second in the country is the underdog, but it serves as evidence of how folks view the Crimson Tide, and just as quick as someone can make the case that Auburn needs this win more, the opposite will say that an Alabama team that has already had their goal of a title game dashed, cannot afford to lose their third game of the season, and their last home game, to their hated rival.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is going to be on fire come Friday, and while folks are waiting up all night for the doors to open at all those stores, I’ll be sitting in front of my TV, waiting on the start of the most anticipated matchup of the weekend. If you’re a college football fan on Black Friday, you’ll most likely be doing the exact same thing.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!